Postby zjz0819 » Tue May 29, 2018 6:47 pm

Just passed the CSE in Carson last week! Still can't believe I really did it! It was my first try, and passed.
Looking at the report that the staff printed after I walked out of with the computer exam room, I really couldn't believe that word "congratulations!" on the report letter meant I passed. I had to double check with the test center staff, and they laughed and asked me if I though it was a trick question. Well, yes I did, after so many "trick" questions in the exam I just finished 5 minutes ago. I had to sit in my car for like 10 minutes before I could finally wrap my head around. Man, it was not easy.

If you thought ARE is hard, CSE is harder. The ARE is hard because before you start to prepare for it, a lot of the concepts covered by ARE are new to you. You have to study and gain the knowledge. Hopefully this does not seem discouraging. The CSE is only harder because of the stress. You can't retake it in 6 months if you fail. The exam is 3.5 hours without mandatory break, and going to restroom does not pause the exam. However, that's it, the stress! Because there isn't much more things to learn besides what you already learned during the ARE days. A lot of the concepts you learned while preparing for the AREs will still be important for CSE, although CSE does introduce some new things that are only specific to California. The knowledge statements say all about that, I don't mean to repeat it again.

Here are some super important ones that did actually appear in one way or another in the exam:
1. construction types and their relations to area, height, occupant group/load, automatic sprinkler, etc.
2. Federal and state agencies, i.e., U.S. Army Coprs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, California Coastal Commission, CalEPA, Essential Service Seismic Safety Act, field act, local agencies, DSA, OSHPD, CEQA, etc.
3. Accessibility / ADA.
4. AIA contracts/general condition, and APA

I'm sure if you can conquer the stress, and understand these important concepts, you will be just fine.
Last but not least, huge thanks to DD and his TWE. That's the only study material I used, and it was very helpful. The audio companion is a huge recommendation, I played it every time I drove in the morning and in evening to the extent that I did not believe I actually heard anything but background noise.

Good luck to you all. The forum was a big help to me!
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Postby mrsxag » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:21 pm

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